4 winning characteristics you need to run a small business » SMEInsider

4 winning characteristics you need to run a small business

Alastair Campbell, the former Director of Communications and Strategy during Tony Blair’s time as Prime Minister, divulges four fundamental pieces of advice to help you become a great business leader.

1. Sharpen your problem solving skills

The best ideas when running a business tend to be the most simple. Looking for a gap in the market and drawing on your own life experience can help you find inspiration.

‘‘Many of Richard Branson’s best ideas come from personal frustrations. He started Virgin stores because he loved music but found record shops so boring. Virgin Airlines came out of his frustration with the experience of flying: rubbish food, uncomfortable seating and no entertainment.’’ 

2. Be Resilient

You have to possess an arsenal of skills in order to succeed in running a small business and being tough enough to take rejection is critical.

 ‘What marks out winners is their ability to bounce back from setbacks and get back up when they’ve been knocked down. They also work incredibly hard. Talent is important, but it isn’t everything. Most successful people have experienced failure and rejection in their time.’’ 

3. Always have a winning mindset

Mental strength is arguably one of the most important attributes needed to run any business. Going into any business venture you should always try and find room for improvement in what you do.

‘‘While I was researching the book, I spent some time with Formula One teams and was completely blown away by their attention to detail, their use of data and their obsession with innovation. Successful entrepreneurs are exactly the same. Perfection doesn’t exist – there is always room for improvement.’’ 

4. Become a strategic thinker

You have to plan out your business strategy thoroughly in order for your SME to become a success story. Set out your goals, procedures and approach carefully before you put anything into practice.

‘‘Successful business leaders practise something called OST: objective, strategy, tactics. This is about setting a clear objective, devising the strategy, and then taking the tactical steps needed. Even the guys who look like they’re laidback: Usain Bolt or Richard Branson – that’s exactly what they’re doing.’’